Thursday, 24 August 2017

Oak Street Cafe Bar Oak Street Manchester 23rd August 2017

Oak Street Cafe Bar is in Manchester Design Centre, a former Victorian fish market building, in the hip Northern Quarter area of the city, housing some of the regions's most creative talents.  

They have vegan options on the menu including toasties, soups and cakes and daily specials, which I have sampled several times in the past.

I visited for tea and cake and managed to bag the last vegan chocolate and hazelnut brownie, accompanied by a lovely pot of Moroccan mint tea.

The brownie was huge, light, chocolatey and crunchy with the hazelnuts and the Moroccan tea was so refreshing.   My favourite savoury dish is their mushroom, olive and almond pesto toastie, which is heavenly and is my go to dish for lunch.

I love Oak Street Cafe, it is a quiet oasis in the busy Northern Quarter and I always feel calm and relaxed, as it is a perfect chill out space and the food is always homemade and top-notch and I highly recommend it.

Takk Tariff Street Manchester 23rd August 2017

Takk is a cafe and creative space in the Northern Quarter and has been on my radar for ages, as I know they have been increasing their vegan options.   The place was buzzing on a Wednesday lunchtime and so we were lucky to get a seat in the window, great for people watching.

The vegan options included muesli or granola, lemon and mint pea mash on the awesome Pollen Bakery sourdough, falafel wrap and plenty cakes, flapjacks and brownies to choose from.

I chose the lemon and pea mint mash and Steven ordered the granola, with two decaf Americano coffee, served in Takk mugs.

Steven loved the granola, with loads of fruit compote, sliced apple and homemade vegan yogurt and although a strange lunch choice, he thought it was just the ticket, as we would be eating loads later.

I could not fault my choice, it was fabulous and an idea I will pinch, as the mint peas married well with the avocado and beetroot.   Pollen Bakery sourdough is the best in my opinion and partnered with three of my favourite ingredients, all on one plate, it was a fabulous lunch.

The coffee was great, the vibe is chilled and cool, lovely staff, what is not too like about this place, I am back in Manchester next week, I know where I will be going.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Crispy Coconut Cauliflower

This recipe is from Vegan Food & Living magazine, but I was missing turmeric and coconut flour and my allergy to so many seeds, meant I had to change many of the ingredients, but even so it is fantastic.

1 cauliflower
60 g gluten free oats
1 tbsp onion seeds
Zest of one lime
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp ground ginger
45 g desiccated coconut
150 ml almond milk
2 tbsp cornflour
500 g peas
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp mint leaves
Salt and pepper

Serves 4

Heat the oven to 200ยบ.   Cut the cauliflower into bite sized florets.

Blitz the oats with a stick blender, put into a bowl with the onion seeds, ginger, chilli powder, lime zest, coconut and a good grind of salt and pepper and mix well.

Whisk the almond milk, lime juice and cornflour together in a bowl, until you have a thin batter, then season with salt and pepper.

Dip the cauliflower into the batter, then roll into the oat mixture, coat thoroughly and put into a roasting dish and bake for 45-50 mins, until the coating is crisp and brown.

Blitz the peas, mint, lemon juice and olive oil, until you have a rough puree, then season to taste.

I served the cauliflower on gluten free wraps liberally spread with the pea puree, some shredded carrot and pine nuts and loads of chilli sauce.   This dish is, in my opinion, better than the spicy cauliflower buffalo wings recipe, it is delicious.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Chickpea & Mushroom Burgers

The original recipe for these burgers is in Vegan Food & Living magazine, however I tweaked the recipe slightly.

1 onion finely chopped
2 garlic cloves crushed
75 g mushrooms finely chopped
1 tbsp rosemary
1 tbsp tomato puree
2 tsp paprika
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
400 g can chickpeas
1 apple grated
Zest of one lemon
3 tbsp chickpea flour

Serves 4

Saute the onion, garlic and mushrooms in the oil for 10 mins, until thoroughly cooked down and browned.

Add the rosemary, paprika and tomato puree and cook for another 5 mins, being careful not to burn the paprika.

Crush the chickpeas with a potato masher, until you have a rough puree.

Add all the ingredients to the pan, turning off the heat first and mix pressing with the back of a spoon, to ensure it is thoroughly combined.

Shape into four equal sized burgers and either oven cook for 20-25 mins, until golden brown, or fry lightly in oil.

I served in a wholemeal wrap, with slaw, chilli sauce and chips.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Little Aladdin High Street Manchester 13th August 2017

Little Aladdin used to be your everyday kebab shop, when owner Ali sold the business and then reacquired it and having gone vegetarian himself, reopened as 100% vegan in January this year.

Inside it is a basic cafe style, with seating for eat in customers and a menu on the wall offering curries, burgers, falafels, chips etc all at very reasonable prices.

I asked if there was soya in the falafels or wraps and owner Ali assured me there was not, so I ordered falafel wrap with chilli sauce and chips and Steven ordered Sabzi Murchi with pilau rice, a bottle of water and a can of coke.

This is no frills cooking, but fresh, tasty and filling and for the price of £13 for two, an absolute bargain.   On nights when too much alcohol has been drunk (easily done in Manchester) and you are starving, you can visit Little Aladdin, safe in the knowledge that everything is totally vegan and they are proud of it.

I will definitely revisit Little Aladdin, it would be rude not too.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Manchester Vegan Cafe Oldham Street Manchester 5th August 2017

Manchester Vegan Cafe opened in Afflecks Palace and is a totally quirky, chilled out kind of place and perfect for a light lunch.   The staff were so friendly, you felt totally at home as soon as you walked through the door and I loved the eclectic decor.

The menu is small, but there are specials on offer too, as well as takeaway, but everything is very reasonably priced.

I chose a jacket potato with houmous and salsa, whilst Steven had jacket potato with red pepper dip and vegan cheese and with two bottles of water, the bill was £10.   It was a perfect lunch and as I am a houmous addict, pretty spot on and definitely value for money and Steven loved his too.

I will definitely return to try more of their vegan options, highly recommended.